Release Date: November 08, 2013
WASHINGTON—In recognition of Veterans Day, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will conduct naturalization ceremonies across the country that will feature military members, military spouses and veterans taking the Oath of Allegiance to become U.S. citizens. From Nov. 7-13, USCIS is welcoming approximately 8,000 new U.S. citizens during 120 naturalization ceremonies throughout the nation and overseas.
Since September 2002, USCIS has naturalized more than 92,000 members of the military, including nearly 11,000 who received their citizenship overseas.
“Throughout our history, thousands of immigrants have made extraordinary sacrifices for this country through military service,” USCIS Director Alejandro Mayorkas said. “These men and women pledged to defend our nation to protect liberties they had yet to secure for themselves. We salute all our veterans for helping to preserve this nation as a beacon of hope and opportunity.”
USCIS’s Veterans Day celebration will feature a Nov. 13 naturalization ceremony at the Women in Military Service for America Memorial at Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia. During this event, Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Rand Beers will administer the Oath, and USCIS Deputy Director Lori Scialabba will recognize Dr. Rahul Jindal, a transplant surgeon at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Md., as an Outstanding American by Choice.
Other ceremony highlights include events at:
- Soldiers & Sailors Memorial Hall and Museum in Pittsburgh on Nov. 8;
- Kandahar Airfield in Afghanistan on Veterans Day (Nov. 11);
- Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio, Texas, on Veterans Day (Nov. 11); and
- The Old State House in Hartford, Conn., on Nov. 13.
Additionally, five recruits will become new citizens at the Marine Corps Recruit Depot in San Diego through the Naturalization at Basic Training Initiative. USCIS developed this program with the Department of Defense to allow noncitizen military enlistees to complete the naturalization process during basic training. Previously, it could prove challenging to naturalize active duty members of the armed services who may have been deployed to locations around the world.
USCIS invites new citizens and their families and friends to share their experiences from the ceremonies through Twitter using the hashtag #newUScitizen.